Myrtle Beach firefighters conduct emergency training

Firefighters in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, recently completed a series of simulations designed to test their ability to handle an emergency involving a biological weapon of mass destruction.

A portion of the Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Squad used a training facility located at one of their fire stations to simulate an incident involving a biological agent, according to

The hazardous materials teams wore a variety of different hazmat suits as they walked through the steps needed to isolate, test and clean a potentially dangerous area.

"They're also trained in what we call weapons of mass destruction," Bob Derr, a battalion chief for Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, said, reports. "If there is a biological agent, a nerve agent, things like that. This gives the citizens a little level of comfort knowing that their fire department can respond to an incident."

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue conducts similar training annually. During the training, firefighters are taught how to carefully analyze a situation for telltale signs it might involve a biological agent of some type.

To aid the MBFR, the South Carolina Hazardous Materials Working Group operates four advanced decontamination chambers, including one located in Horry County, near Myrtle Beach. The SCHMWG is a state-run organization tasked with helping local fire departments in information collection and distribution for use in emergencies.